Past and Present

The first book I fell in love with was a collection of Poe’s poetry published, as far as I can tell, right around the turn of the century(19th-20th, not the recent one).  It belonged to my great-aunt and I discovered it only after she had passed, in a large dresser filled with, amongst other things, this book and a Sears & Roebuck catalog selling flintlock rifles, covered wagons, and prairie cabin kits.


The leather cover and gilt pages and poetry just captivated me.

Since then, I have been fascinated by old books and the craftsmanship required to make them(though the printing of the text didn’t much interest me at the time).  So much so that, on a trip with my parents to Colonial Williamsburg, I spent the better part of an afternoon in their bindery talking to a very patient book artist as he explained, in character, the traditional process of binding books.


Of course, I’m not only interested in commercial bookmaking.  I came across this on the Tattered Cover’s blog not too long ago.Image

It’s a handmade book that was auctioned recently.  It is an original Bronte manuscript that she made as a child.

Off the Tattered Cover tumblr, on the modern side of book making, I came across Valerie Buess.  She is described as a paper artist, but a number of her works use either printed paper or book-like sculptures.


1 comment
  1. That guy at Williamsburg *is* incredibly patient! I love visiting there…

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